Email sent to Eleanor Laing via writetothem.com in response to government plans to stop councils investing and procuring ethically.
Background here: Government to introduce rules to stop ‘political’ boycotts (BBC news, 03/10/2015)
Dear Eleanor Laing,
I am very concerned by government plans to stop councils taking ethical factors into account when procuring services and investing.
Councils are elected by their constituents to represent them. If a council decides that investing in, say, an arms manufacturer isn’t appropriate they are merely implementing their democratic mandate if they choose not to.
Could you please explain how these plans reflect the Conservative Party’s support for devolving power to local authorities? The two seem contradictory to me.
Councils have a lot of spending and investing power which they control on behalf of their consituents. Many don’t invest ethically but that’s their decision; I don’t believe there should be any nationally imposed obligation either way.